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Prawns, Blueberries and Courgettes
Food in Season – July

Find out what foods are in season for July – what’s at its best and will make great meals for July and through the summer.

Food in Season: July

By WLR's Food Information Executive, Laurence Beeken

July means barbeques and seaside holidays and not surprisingly the amount of tempting food seems to be at an all time high! The sun seems to bring out the beast in our appetites, but don’t be lured by fast food snacks and goodies - take a look at the great food July has to offer instead….

Prawns

Naturally, prawns are popular at the seaside where they can be freshly caught and prepared, and if you buy them straight from a shellfish stall you get a taste quite unlike the rather watery supermarket offerings.

Prawns are used in a range of dishes from many different cultures. It’s also important to include fish and shellfish into a healthy diet as both provide protein, fats,  oils, vitamins and minerals essential for everyday health. 

Prawns contain omega-3 fatty acids, which can help maintain a healthy heart by guarding against heart disease. They also contains high levels of: 

All of which help to promote healthy skin, bones and teeth; selenium is especially good for male health.

Popular varieties of prawn include the tiger prawns, deep water prawns, king prawns and the bay prawn. Colours can be green, pink, brown, blue, white or yellow before cooking although all will turn pink with white meat after cooking. 

When buying prawns ensure that:

  • The shells are firm and glossy and not broken or slippery
  • There is no discolouration
  • They smell fresh and salty. Avoid if there is any hint of a smell of ammonia.
  • The eyes are prominent and shiny and not shrunken inwards or missing.
Preparation

The shell can be removed before or after cooking:

Simply twist the head to remove it and pull the legs off. Hold the prawn belly up and lift the shell away from the body.

To remove the vein from a shelled prawn (which may otherwise cause the meat to taste gritty or dirty), trace the line of the vein with the edge of a sharp thin knife or a cocktail stick and then rinse it under a running tap. The vein should wash away but if it does not, use the end of the knife or cocktail stick to draw the vein out. 

In order to defrost frozen prawns, remove them from their original packaging and place them in a bowl. Cover the bowl and then leave to defrost in the refrigerator overnight.

For a more rapid method, wrap the prawns tightly in waterproof packaging, for example cling film and place the package into a sink full of cold water. 1lb of frozen prawns or shrimp should defrost in about an hour using this method; never defrost any type of shellfish at room temperature and it is best not to defrost them in the microwave either.

 

Storage

Prawns and shrimps should be kept at the bottom of the fridge, preferably in a bowl of ice and can be kept in their original packaging or can be transferred to an airtight container. They should also be kept in their shell until they are needed for cooking. 

If you buy frozen prawns, store them in the freezer until you need to defrost them.

Nutrition data per 100 g
(Prawns, Raw, Average)
Calories (kcal) 75.4
Protein (g) 17.0
Carbohydrate (g) 0.2
Fat (g) 0.6
Saturates (g) 0.1
Fibre (g) 0.0
Sodium (g) 0.8
Prawn Recipes:

 

Blueberries

Blueberries grown in Britain are amongst the best in the world, and with just over 50 calories per 100g serving, they are nutritious and delicious and worthy of their reputation as a superfood.

Blueberries are an excellent source of:

  • Vitamin C – needed for the formation of collagen and to maintain healthy gums and capillaries. It also aids in the absorption of iron and promotes a healthy immune system.
  • Manganese - which plays an important role in the development of bones, and in the metabolism of protein, carbohydrate and fat.
  • Antioxidants – which help neutralize free radicals which are linked to the development of a number of diseases including cancer, cardiovascular disease and other age-related conditions such as Alzheimer's.  Blueberries rank among the highest on a per serving basis.
  • Polyphenols - specifically anthocyanins (that give blueberries their blue colour), are the major contributors to the antioxidant activity of blueberries.
Preparation

Frozen berries should be defrosted in the bottom of the fridge, while fresh can be washed under cold running water (although if picked fresh you may need to top & tail).

Storage
  • Do not wash if storing as this may cause the berries to deteriorate.
  • Berries can be kept for up to two weeks if stored in a covered container in the bottom of the fridge
  • Alternatively place directly in the freezer overnight then pack into a zip lock bag the following day. Frozen berries can be kept for up to a year.
Nutrition data per 100 g
(Blueberries, Fresh, Raw, Average)
Calories (kcal) 57
Protein (g) 0.7
Carbohydrate (g) 14.5
Sugars (g) 10.0
Fat (g) 03
Saturates (g) 0.0
Fibre (g) 2.4
Fruit and Veg 1.3
Blueberry Recipes:

 

Courgettes

Widely available from June through July to September the courgette, also known as zucchini, is related to the cucumber and to pumpkins and squashes. This summer vegetable has a tender flesh, soft edible skin and tastes delicious in salads.

Courgettes vary in colour and size, from pale cream through bright yellow to deep green, and come in different shapes such as the pattypan, although we are more familiar with the blunt green truncheons most often grown on the continent and shipped to the UK.  Smaller ones are found to have more flavour and are slightly sweeter but all are excellent baked, fried or eaten raw.

When buying, pick ones with a bright, glossy appearance and stay away from any that are soft, wrinkled and blemished.  If the flower is still attached to the end do not worry as this is considered a delicacy!

This vegetable has a high water content and is extremely low in calories and fat. They contain folate, which is needed for the production of red blood cells and the release of energy from food, they also contains a good dose of potassium and vitamins A & C

Preparation

No need to peel, simply wash and trim the ends before baking, frying, steaming or simply eat raw in thin julienne strips.

Storage

Keep in a bag at the bottom of the fridge for up to 5 days.

Nutrition data per 100 g
(Courgettes, Raw, Average)
Calories (kcal) 18.0
Protein (g) 1.8
Carbohydrate (g) 1.8
Sugars (g) 1.7
Fat (g) 0.4
Saturates (g) 0.1
Fibre (g) 0.9
Fruit and Veg 1.3
Courgette Recipes:

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